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[40] ex-Governor James D. Porter, of Tennessee, and whose death was deeply lamented by a wide circle of friends and admirers.]

Sir,—In obedience to orders I submit the following report of the capture of the Confederate States steamer Florida at Bahia, Brazil, on the 7th of October, 1864, by the United States steamer Wachusett, the treatment of the officers and crew while prisoners; and the manner of our release. But before commencing I beg to call your attention to the fact that before entering the harbor our shot were withdrawn from the guns; that after our being requested by the Brazilian naval commander to anchor in-shore of his squadron we let our steam go down and hauled fires.

At about 3 A. M. on the morning of the 7th October, the officer of the deck, Acting-Master T. T. Hunter, sent the Quartermaster down to call me, and tell me that the Wachusett was under weigh and standing towards us. I immediately jumped on deck, when I saw the Wachusett about twenty yards off, standing for our starboard quarter. A moment after she struck us abreast the mizen-mast, broke it into three pieces, crushed in the bulwarks, knocked the quarter-boat in on deck, jammed the wheel, carried away the main yard and started the beams for about thirty feet forward. At the same time she fired about two hundred shots from her small arms, and two from her great guns. She then backed off about one hundred yards, and demanded our surrender. I replied to the demand that I would let them know in a few moments. The reply from the Wachsett was to surrender immediately, or they would blow us out of the water. As more than half our crew were ashore, and those on board had just returned from liberty, I believed that she could run us down before we could get our guns loaded. But as I did not like to surrender the vessel without knowing what some of the other officers thought of it, I consulted Lieutenant Stone, the second officer in rank; and finding that he agreed with me that we could not contend against her with any hopes of success, I informed the commander of the Wachusett that under the circumstances I would surrender the vessel. I then went on board, and delivered to Commander Collins the ship's ensign and my sword. He immediately sent a prize-crew on board the Florida, and towed her out of the harbor. During the day he transferred about


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